Tuesday, December 30, 2014

York (York Imperial) *

This drunkenly diagonal apple is large and distinctly ribbed, with an attractive red-orange blush streaky over dull green. Look closely to see regular tan spots.

After a month or two of storage, these bear a sweet aroma. The peel is a bit waxy.

Monday, December 15, 2014


Watercore in a Lady Apple. Click for close-up.
Eat enough apples and you are sure to encounter watercore: strangely translucent, glassy flesh super-saturated with juice and sugar.

You'd think juiciness would be a straightforward trait specific to each apple variety.

Coarse-grained apples, with large cells, hold more juice than fine-graned, smaller-cell breeds. Watermelon vs potato.

Sometimes however things get a little haywire and the tree forces water, tree-sap really, into the apple so fast that some of it ends up between the cells.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Apples on the Web: New England Apples

Where better to locate a regional focus on apples than my own New England? (Pardon my parochialism!)

Photo: NASA
And who better to write on that topic than the former director of the New England Apple Grower's Association (and its current senior writer), Russell Powell?

Powell, who has penned two books about apples, publishes and writes New England Apples.

It's an uncluttered blog that also features apple photos (and writing) by Bar Lois Weeks, the Association's current Executive Director.

These columns blend commentary, recipes, history, and description with an emphasis on the first of these.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Aurora vs. Mutsu smackdown

Two crisp, light, apples with almost attenuated flavors. The idea for this match up felt obvious from the moment I had my first Aurora earlier this year.

Aurora Golden Gala (R) meets a yellow late-season Mutsu. (Mutsu is often sold green.)
Aurora is premium-sized, what you'd find in a supermarket, and Mutsu is just huge. (The photo understates Mutsu's size.) So, a lot of apple to eat at one sitting!

But I ran into some surprises at first bite.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Sweet Winter Pennock **

These hayseed-handsome apples are medium and large, a little conical and a little blocky and a little ribbed.

The cheerful orange-red blush runs from streaky to saturated but covers most of a subdued yellow-green.

Russet-colored lenticels are prominent in the blush, and there's a copper-and-green russet at the crown and in crackles down the side.